"In showbiz, there is the term 'jumping the shark' that is used to describe a project in decline. It is derived from the hit sit-com 'Happy Days' which, sorely lacking for material after years on the air, featured a show wherein The Fonz went waterskiing in a leather jacket and encountered a shark. You guessed it: the Fonz jumped over the shark on the skis. After that, the days were not so happy on that program." —Noted cultural arbiter Bill O'Reilly has concerns about Lady Gaga's career. As, I suppose, do we all.
"The innovation of Lady Gaga in the desultory days of 2007 was the difference between becoming a youth icon at 16, as Britney and her ilk did, and becoming one at 22, after a diploma from Sacred Heart and a few solid semesters at New York University—and so, presumably, with enough Freud, Marx and Gawker to understand her identity as a commodity, and what that really meant…. 'The Fame' was unmitigated fun, a likeable young trader making a killing for her personal account with crafty biography arbitrage—who knew there were inefficient markets willing to pay so much for 'shut my playboy mouth' and 'I wanna take a ride on [...]
Just hit play on both at the same time. But hey, remember that time that there was a new Lady Gaga video and I almost couldn't even get a blog post out of it? It was a big pile of meh. Bet I'd feel different if I were 15. Anyway, there's an exclusive deal with Target where you can get it for free, if you don't mind doing business with people who fund Michele Bachmann. (I do!)
tonight i am DJing a loft party in midtown for halloween and on the subway ride here there was a zombie sitting next to me playing solitaire on her iPod nano, a samurai trying to secure his sword to his belt by tying it up with excess fabric, and two Nicki Minajes with pink wigs and pink eyelashes dancing on those poles on subway cars that you hold on to so you don't fall down when the train lurches. right now i am in the loft setting my computer up and one of the organizers is off somewhere getting me a cable to connect my hard drive to my [...]
Camille Paglia's attack on Lady Gaga in the Sunday Times begins with an attempted burnishing of her own rusted credentials: "Camille Paglia, America's foremost cultural critic, demolishes an icon." Who on earth-or at least who in America-would describe Paglia that way? Nobody! The introduction only underscores the irrelevance it was meant to forestall.
Rick Astley/Kylie Minogue producer Mike Stock on the current, depraved pop landscape: "The music industry has gone too far. It's not about me being old fashioned. It's about keeping values that are important in the modern world. These days you can't watch modern stars — like Britney Spears or Lady Gaga — with a two-year-old." Is that the level that we're going for nowadays? Perhaps this bit of snippiness means that Stock is about to produce his own Kidz Bop featuring the music he produced for Divine and Samantha Fox and Angels Aren't Airplanes!
Joseph Ratzinger, the World War II hero who miraculously became the pope even after his army lost the war, is jumping on the Twitter bandwagon—if by "jumping" you mean "having his handlers announce, two months in advance, that a papal Twitter account will be launched at year's end." Also, the pope will not actually be typing crazy tweets about Obama being a Kenyan and gay people not being able to get married because they are infected by Satan. (Just kidding, the latter position is actually Vatican doctrine.) What kind of elderly sociopath right-wing public figure doesn't type his or her own insane observations on Twitter? Somebody doesn't understand Twitter is [...]
Gay Talese on Tony Bennett dueting with Lady Gaga in the New Yorker is blowing people's minds, but mostly from afar, as it's subscriber-only. Spoiler: she spends the recording session drinking whiskey.
What I don't understand about the future, AKA the present, is: well, who's zooming who? Take a "brand synergy moment" like Lady Gaga premiering her new album in Farmville, which, if you are new to the Internet, is some kind of "time management" game on Facebook where you grow crops. So who pays whom for the honor? Gaga gets an enormous, frightening, keyed-in audience; Farmville gets exclusive "added value." Maybe nobody pays anyone? Is this what Tina Brown wanted in the 90s? Also, between this, her abandoned Target promotion, the terrible new song and everything else, has anyone ridden the steep sine wave of exciting fame to slavish [...]
Because nothing makes popular music more fun than typing alongside friends, it's time to do that "liveblogging" thing in honor of the 2010 American Music Awards, which celebrate the most popular of the most popular music that this country has to offer, complete with the sort of pomp that only the most craven enterprises can possess. Join me after the jump for the Black Eyed Peas, Christina Aguilera, Katy (sigh) Perry, the results of allowing 13-year-olds to vote (online) (for their favorite male pop stars), and OMG NEW KIDS AND BACKSTREET BOYS TOGETHER!!
"Yours truly has survived quite well all these years without the slightest notion of who Lady Gaga, was, and this blessed state of affairs could continue to her and my mutual satisfaction, I'm sure, if not for my friend Jeff, who used to attend services at the Stanton Street Shul. Far more attuned to pop culture than I am, Jeff discovered that a new biography of Stefani Joanne Angelina Germanotta (Lady Gaga for short), titled Poker Face, is about to come out and that she and I, and all of you, really, are closely related in Kevin Bacon fashion…" -Yori Yanover, editor and publisher of the Lower East Side's [...]
Julie Klausner: You and I are, it's safe to say, closet Camille Paglia appreciators.
Natasha Vargas-Cooper: Safe.
Julie: Closeted because she occasionally says crazy craziness, like when she wanted to rub herself all over Sarah Palin.
Natasha: Her political stuff is bonko but I intensely adore her cultural criticism.
Julie: When she got "politikul," twas a folly. Yet, I think Paglia is a better writer than her fellow agitators like say your Katie Roiphe.
Natasha: Don't bait me with my love of Katie Roiphe.
Julie: She's also funny, she can spin an adjective and she's persuasive.
Natasha: I love Paglia because she's she's bawdy [...]
13. "The sun is shining everyday, but it's far away / Over the world is [unintelligible syllable that sounds like 'blehhh']" ("The sun is shining everyday, but it's far away / Over the world is death," from OneRepublic's "All The Right Moves")
Wow! Excellent! So Kendrick Lamar, a young rapper from Compton who Dr. Dre signed to Aftermath/Interscope Records last year, recently released an album called good kid, m.A.A.d. city that has had much of the hip-hop community arguing about whether it is the best rap album of the year or the best rap album of all-time. I mean, it is really good. I've been listening to it a lot and it puts me in the mind of A Tribe Called Quest's first album and OutKast's second album. But apparently it could have been even better. Kendrick was reported to have recorded music with Lady Gaga earlier this year, but [...]
Sad news yesterday from Florida, where saxophonist Clarence Clemons, the big man who made all the little pretties raise their hands when he joined the E-Street Band in 1972, was left partially paralyzed after suffering a stroke at his home. He's had two brain surgeries, but is reportedly now in stable condition. Clemons, 69, plays on Lady Gaga's new album, on a song called "The Edge of Glory," and performed it with her on American Idol last month.
The plot recount of Lady Gaga's "Judas" video begins at 2'44", which is really all you need: "The video starts off with Gaga on a motorcycle with her motorcycle gang and her behind Jesus and Judas behind her and she's looking behind her shoulder looking at Judas and everything and then Judas gets in front of everybody and Gaga starts singing 'Oh I'm in love with Judas' and, you know, I'm not even looking at Gaga no more, I'm looking at Jesus on the motorcycle and I shouldn't even be looking at Jesus like that." This is true.
So, here's another story for you. It's grimmer than the last one, but we tell it almost as often. It goes like this: She's perfect. She's perfect because we made her perfect; because everything about her is entirely within our control. She's your long-lost love, your new and improved wife; she's the girl you never got over, or the girl you could never have. And now, she loves you. She has no choice; loving you is what she's for. Until, one day, she gets too smart. She starts thinking in ways she's not allowed to think. She gets political. And that's the point at [...]
Ann Powers takes on the Camille Paglia/Lady Gaga flap in the Los Angeles Times (as well as the always-present, always-thorny topic of sex in pop music), and here's part of the setup: "[Paglia's] prose style is bloody and lurid and sometimes effectively comical, like a Rob Zombie-directed horror movie; it's hard to turn away."